Take cough and flu viruses with you

  • Cough and cold (known as batuk pilek in Indonesia) and flu, are common illnesses in Indonesia. They occur throughout the year and peak during rainy seasons when the cold temperature weakens the immune system. Research suggests that the viruses causing cough, cold and flu may survive and reproduce more effectively at colder temperatures, making it easier for them to spread and infect more people.
  • There is also a common local illness called masuk angin (catching a cold), which partly has the same symptoms as a cold or the initial stages of flu, but combining with the feeling of fatigue, nausea, cramps, headaches or stomach upsets. Andi Khomeini Takdir Haruni, of the Indonesian Doctors Association, explained the understanding about masuk angin is a combination of multiple symptoms pointing as a single illness.
  • When those happened, over-the-counter medicine could be one of the solutions to relieve the symptoms, including sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and cough. Flu symptoms are similar but include fever, headache and muscle soreness. The medications come with ingredients to relieve a specific symptom, like cough only, or combination products to relieve more than one symptom, for example, cough and flu at one go.


  • According to our market research report, revenue in the cough and cold segment amounts to USD 712 million in 2019. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.8% (CAGR 2019-2023). The cough and cold segment comprise over-the-counter natural and synthetic agents to relieve cough, expectorants and sore throat remedies, cold remedies and preparations against flu-like infections. Cough and cold medication include medicines in the form of pills, syrups, lozenges, sprays, ointments and granulate for external and internal applications. Not included are prescription medicines, preparations that are against the state law or are no explicit cold or cough drugs (e.g. painkillers).
  • In 2019, combination products continued to account for the largest share of value sales within cough and cold remedies while also posting the highest value growth. Combination products containing herbal ingredients, in particular, continue to grow as Indonesian consumers believe that herbal brands are healthier than regular medications with more chemical content.


  • The competition in the cough and flu category could be re-categorized based on the product ingredients: combination, cough, and flu.
    • Combination (mainly for masuk angin). Antangin (from Deltomed Laboratories) and Tolak Angin (from Sido Muncul) continued to be the leading brands in 2019 due to its strong presence and brand image, relatively cheap prices and widespread availability, mainly through traditional distribution channels. The brands contain herbal ingredients such as cardamom, ginger and clove.
    • Cough remedies. Within this segment, OBH Combi, Vicks 44, Woods and Komix are the leading brands.
    • Flu remedies. Mixagrip, Ultraflu, Neozep, Sanaflu and Bodrex are leading in flu remedies.


  • Indonesian consumers continue to shop online, therefore, influencing the distribution of products in online channels. Many consumer health products, including cough, cold and flu remedies are already available via prominent e-commerce sites such as Go-Jek, Shopee, Lazada, Tokopedia and k24.com. However, an online survey conducted by GoApotik showed that there was big chunk of consumers who never purchased medicine online (51%) and they were still reluctance in purchasing medicine online as they are unsure of the product authenticity (38%).
  • A survey conducted by Jakpat, an online survey company, about the treatment for illness in 2018 showed interesting findings:
    • There are many Indonesian people believe in traditional treatment, 97% ever tried a physical traditional treatment.
    • Cold and flu are top illnesses treated with traditional treatment (80% of respondents treated their cold and flu with traditional treatment).
    • They took traditional treatment because it was more natural and contained no chemicals.
    • Despite believed in natural methods of treatment as 39% went for traditional treatment in the first place, 52% of our respondents who took traditional treatments said that they keep doing medical steps to make sure that they get the best result.